Monday, July 5, 2010

Speech by His Excellency the President Lt. Gen. Seretse Khama Ian Khama Officially Opening Development Projects in Damochujenaa

source: Republic of Botswana (20/6/10) TAUTONA TIMES no 8 of 2010
The Electronic Press Circular of the Office of the President
"Democracy, Development, Dignity, Discipline and Delivery"


[Salutations]...Ladies and Gentlemen,

1. I am very pleased to be here with you for the official opening of your village projects. Damochujenaa, as you all know was gazetted as a village in 1989. By 2001 it had a population of 750. There is no doubt in my mind that although this is a relatively new village, it is experiencing a faster growth as compared to other settlements in the country. This growth has therefore warranted the development of basic facilities for the benefit of the community.

2. I am informed that the projects being opened today include: Sedibe Primary School, Kgotla Office, 13 disaster one-roomed houses and a bus shelter.

3. The primary school was constructed in the early 1990s and opened its doors in 1993 with an enrolment of 109 pupils. I am informed that since then it has had an average enrolment of about 285 pupils per year. I am further informed that the school has over the years had an average pass rate of 70%. This is commendable indeed.

4. Let me point out that our commitment as a nation is to ensure that there is access and equity to education. Access to education is very important for social development and I encourage you to continue sending your children to school. It is through education that this country can offer individuals a life-long opportunity to develop themselves and make this country competitive internationally. It is indeed gratifying to note that this school is being opened today because people recognise the importance it has played in the development of Damochujenaa community. In our midst today, we have young men and women who have benefitted from learning at Sedibe Primary School, and I encourage them to continue searching for further education.

5. Regarding the Kgotla, this was established in 1994. It was upgraded to a Court of Record on 1st June 1999 and at that time both the Headman and Officers were operating in a Village Development Committee 3 roomed structure. Damochujenaa Type 1 office was constructed through Ipelegeng Programme at a total of P350 000.00 during the financial year 2007/08. I am informed that the project engaged 20 workers during the construction stage.

6. It is my hope that the number of cases tried in this Kgotla shall reduce over time so as to give your Kgosi more time to deal with developmental issues. Let me make it clear that the purpose of Bogosi is not primarily to try cases; rather it is to build our communities. It is for this reason that I would encourage you to use these offices for the development of your village. It is incumbent upon you as a community to assist Bogosi to build and indeed mould our children to be socially responsible men and women in future through the traditional leadership structures.

7. The other projects being opened are the 13 one-roomed houses. You will recall that we had a disaster in 2008 that led to destruction of properties in many parts of this country. My Government took a decision to assist all victims of the said disaster, and a total of 387 houses have so far been built country-wide with 13 built here in Damochujenaa. It is through such actions that we can attain our Vision 2016 pillar of being "a Compassionate, Just and Caring Nation". Essentially, we have built these houses because of our social responsibility to assist vulnerable members of our society. However, it is our commitment to equally promote a spirit of self-help. That is why the 13 one-roomed houses were constructed through the Ipelegeng programme at a total cost of P210 000.00; and I am encouraged to learn that beneficiaries participated fully in the construction of houses.

8. All these projects, that is the primary school, kgotla office and 13 one-roomed houses have been constructed at a total cost of about P3.3 million pula. This investment and indeed an achievement is a testimony of my government's commitment to bring services closer to the people and be responsive to people's needs and aspirations.

9. I must emphasise the fact that some of the projects we are opening today were initiated by the community in collaboration with their village and district leadership. This involved consultations amongst the local institutions. It was therefore finally agreed that the projects should be included in the district plans and implemented accordingly.

10. Let us not always look upon government as the provider of everything. There are certain things that the government can provide and those that the government can provide an enabling environment for the local communities to use for the betterment of their living.

11. The other project being opened, though not in the vicinity is the bus shelter donated by Lions Club. I do sincerely appreciate the contribution made by Lions Club in realising the construction of the bus shelter here in Damochujenaa for indeed it shows that they care about social and economic development of this country.

12. Having said all that let me conclude by noting that the location of Damochujenaa places it at an advantageous position. It is the gateway to the Township of Selebi Phikwe and the gateway out to other primary and secondary centres of Botswana in the north and central parts of the country. Thus, throughout its history, the growth and form of Damochujenaa has been inextricably connected to socio-economic opportunities that could potentially lead to developments in the village.

13. There is therefore a need to harness this potential; there is need for awareness creation and sensitization to our people of the developmental challenges that require our participation and commitment, especially among religious and civic leaders, women, the youth, the village leadership, and indeed everybody to put the development of this settlement on a sustainable path.

14. With those few remarks, I wish to take this opportunity to declare all development projects here in Damochujenaa; and that is the Sedibe Primary School, Kgotla office, the bus shelter and 13 one-roomed houses officially opened. Ke a leboga bagaetsho!

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